I arrived home last Saturday night at around 6.30pm after an afternoon at rugby and was really craving something warm, homemade and delicious. Unfortunately, our fridge was just about bare with only a handful of pantry staples to play with. As easy as it would have been to resort to cheese on toast, I decided the babes & I needed something slightly more nutritious! So I toddled off to the family vegetable garden with Hank and a torch to gather some spinach and see what I could rustle up in the form of soup.
Despite only having a handful of items, the resulting bowl was absolutely delicious and so much more than I’d bargained for when I set out on my wee soup mission!
While the soup was bubbling away, I made some Rosemary Sea Salt Focaccia based upon a delicious recipe by Real Food Pledge as featured in the Autumn issue of Good Magazine. However, given I didn’t have tapioca floor or apple cider vinegar, I changed a few ingredients and the result was equally delicious so I thought I’d share my adapted recipe with you in case you end up in the same boat. All of this within 30 minutes on a Saturday night with my 28-week baby belly and baby bearing feet, which goes to show this soup and focaccia bread is really very easy to prepare!
Spinach, Kumara and Chickpea Soup – serves 4-6
2 Tbspn olive oil
1 large brown onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, sliced
Coarse iodised sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp Italian herbs (or use fresh rosemary and thyme if you have it!)
¼ tsp dried chilli flakes
2 red kumara, peeled and chopped into small chunks
500mL chicken or vegetable stock
1 400mL can coconut milk
6 cups spinach, washed chopped
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and add the onion, garlic, salt, pepper, herbs and chilli and cook stirring until softened for about 5 minutes.
Add the kumara, stock and coconut milk to the saucepan. Stir everything together, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the kumara is cooked. Stir every now and again.
Next add the spinach and chickpeas, cover and cook until the spinach is all wilted (about 5 minutes).
Pour the soup into a food processor and blitz until thick and creamy (alternatively use a hand blender and puree the soup directly in the saucepan). Pour the soup back into the saucepan and taste. Add any extra herbs, salt and pepper if need be.
Divide between serving bowls and enjoy with a wedge of Rosemary Sea Salt Focaccia (recipe below).
Rosemary Sea Salt Focaccia – serves 6
1 cup ground almonds
1/3 cup rice flour
2 Tbspn cornflour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp coarse iodised sea salt
1 Tbspn fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
2 Tbspn olive oil
2 Tbspn white vinegar
Extra rosemary leaves and salt for the top
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C and grease a shallow round oven –proof dish. You can line the dish with baking paper to make removing the baked focaccia easier if you wish.
Add the ground almonds, rice flour, cornflour, baking soda, salt and rosemary to a large bowl and stir together.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, olive oil and white vinegar. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix together.
Pour the mixture into your prepared dish and scatter over a few extra rosemary leaves and a little extra coarse sea salt.
Bake for ~15 minutes or until golden and just cooked.